Tag Archive: certification

Dec 19

Ensuring Food Security from the very Beginning

IFOAM is turning 40, and our company, CCPB, is turning 25. We would like to share with you our story as a certification body: food safety has always been our main aim.
When our company was founded, in 1988, health threats, particularly caused by pesticides, were a big issue in Italy. We thought that organic production would be a fascinating solution to this problem, even if at that time this production process was almost unknown. There was no culture for organic, only rich and health oriented people used to buy organic products.
Through our certification service, we wanted to guarantee high production standards, and try to create a new market, making organic food affordable for a much wider range of consumers.

We welcomed European legislation in 1991 as a strong basis to go forward on this way.
Furthermore, we believed that only large agrifood companies would have been able to make a significant change in the market, so it was important to involve them in organic production.
After all these years, we can happily say that we have made it.  We joined IFOAM in 1995, and we have shared the same vision ever since. Our CCPB Global Programme is the certification scheme for organic products that we set up to certify compliance with the IFOAM standards. Now we are also able to certify agrifood, textiles, and cosmetics.  And we are focusing our efforts towards sustainability programs.
For the future we would like to spread the idea that technology could help organic farming in order to provide a better and sustainable production system. We would like to weigh up the balance between nature and technology!
Organic can still be improved, but for CCPB it’s the best solution available for sustainability.

Fabrizio Piva

Sep 28

International Organic Inspectors Association: Working to Make Organic Agriculture the Norm, not the Exception

Inspector at Work

The International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) is the professional organization of organic inspectors and offers training and networking world-wide for crop, livestock, and processing inspectors. IOIA was founded in 1991 and started training inspectors in 1993. Now, 20 years later, the IOIA Training Institute trains hundreds of inspectors through dozens of on-site or web-based internationally-recognized training events annually. IOIA operates globally with nearly 250 inspector members in more than a dozen countries. IOIA provides a critical voice for inspectors regarding policies that impact inspectors and organic certification without losing sight of what matters most— growing sustainable agriculture and earth stewardship.

We provide quality training wherever it is requested, foster regional inspector organizations, and improve availability of local inspectors. IOIA trains consultants, educators, and policymakers. Members of IFOAM since 1994, we collaborated with them to produce the IFOAM/IOIA International Organic Inspection Manual, which is the basic manual for all IOIA inspection courses. We respond to requests from around the globe by working with cosponsors and a multi-lingual staff of 24 trainers located worldwide. For example, in 2010, we provided producer workshops in South Africa. In 2011, we delivered organic aquaculture inspection training in a Hong Kong classroom via webinar with a regional cosponsor, a Canadian trainer, and an expert presenter from the USA. We are a partner of the IFOAM Academy to support the first Organic Leadership Course training in the USA, scheduled for March 2013. This training aims to strengthen organic leadership and help build the organic leaders of tomorrow. Each training event in a new region provides a nucleus for generating a new branch of a truly sustainable agricultural network.

South Africa Producer Workshop with Lisa Pierce, IOIA Trainer

Both inspections and inspector training must be rigorous to guarantee organic integrity to the consumer.  Inspectors are typically the only persons on-site annually to verify organic practices for both private and governmental certification bodies. IOIA fills an essential niche to make sure organic really means organic! Thank you, and best wishes to IFOAM. We will continue to value you as a working partner in growing sustainability, so that organic becomes the norm, not the exception. Happy Anniversary!

Margaret Scoles
International Organic Inspectors Association

Apr 16

CAAE: Towards an always higher sustainability

CAAE Lantern LaunchWith more than 13,000 members and beyond 900,000 hectares of organic certified production, the CAAE Association is a Spanish non-for-profit organization that works for the development of certified organic farming, counting among its objectives environmental protection and rural development. CAAE is part of the IFOAM EU Group and EOCC Boards and is one of the founding organizations of the Leading Organic Alliance (LOA).

Since its creation in 1991, the CAAE Association is defending sustainability, starting CAAE Photo 3from the certified organic production sector. It implements and supports projects focusing on training, information and awareness of the society on the respect of the environment and the consumption of organic food, like the annual Organic Week taking place in Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and Extremadura. The association also communicates on the social and environmental benefits of organic farming, organizing broadcasting campaigns and promoting initiatives aimed at the youth such as workshops for young people or Summer Camps for younger children, combining recreational activities with educational ones and organic meals. CAAE supports the producers and the industrial organic sector, highlighting them as best allies to mitigate climate change effects. It also fosters biodiversity through projects like the Diversification of Agrarian Landscapes in Andalusia delivering organic plants and trees for more than 10 years in order to improve both the rural landscape and the sustainability of the farms.

Peru CAAE Project PhotoAt the international level, and for a few years now, CAAE is developing a cooperation project in Peru to boost the organic production with the aim to improve life conditions sustainably in less-favored communities. It also works together with Portugal with the objective to share experiences and technical knowledge with the organization of congresses on the inter-relation between preservation of the environment and organic farming.

Among other activities, the association also promotes organic food and studies related to that sector, publishes scientific, technical and informative material and collaborates with other entities in the organization of events for the dissemination of information on the sustainable water management in organic production, benefits of the organic production methods to address climate change, use of renewable energies, responsible consumption, etc. Besides, CAAE makes proposals and provides assessment on organic production and sustainability, signing cooperation agreements at all levels.

CAAE Photo 2Lots of companies registered in the CAAE Association are pioneers in sustainable initiatives linked to the use of clean energies, sustainable management of water or energy use, promotion of biodiversity, organic tourism, recycling, compost, bio-construction, etc. sharing their experiences in forums and conferences.

CAAE’s key message to Rio+20 would be that cooperation between organizations, when focusing on common objectives, provides very positive synergies. That kind of collaboration is the direction to take in order to obtain more and better results regarding sustainability and all related issues.

CAAE Association

Mar 22

ICEA: Inclusive Partnerships for Sustainable Livelihoods

A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stress and shocks, maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets, when it contributes a net benefit to other livelihoods at the local and global level and, in the short and the long term, when it provides sustainable livelihood opportunities for the next generations

R. Chambers, 1991

According to ICEA, Organic Agriculture can contribute to meaningful socio-economic and ecological sustainable development of the livelihood, both in the developed countries than in developing ones.

Starting from its historical experience in the Italian organic movement, ICEA moved toward a daring and challenging sector that is international cooperation, offering its expertise in organizing sound and sustainable value chains for smallholders producing organic crops around the world.

ICEA has been working in order to promote a kind of organic and ethic certification tailored in the most appropriate form to the project stakeholders (e.g. Group Certification; Internal Control System, Participatory Guarantee Systems); and proposed a diverse range of certification schemes  (e.g. Fairtrade; Eco Tourism; Corporate Social Responsibility; Organic Aquaculture, Cosmetic and Textiles, etc.).

ICEA arose from Italian farmers experience, but is now operating worldwide in diverse contexts trying to apply always the same guiding principles about sustainable livelihoods: to be holistic; to be people-focused; to encourage broad partnerships; to promote micro-macro linkages.

An example of this fruitful approach is represented by the recent membership of the Ecuadorian FECD – Fondo Ecuatoriano de Cooperación para el Desarrollo – who has joined the ICEA consortium in 2011. FECD has a long lasting experience in Ecuador promoting and implementing sustainable development related activities, with a specific focus on the livelihoods of smallholder producers adopting organic agriculture. FECD works with an innovative approach for the implementation of its projects, putting emphasis on the “human side” of the entire process, from production to certification; actually FECD is using in all its activities the “focusing” approach, a methodology derived from psychotherapy and has adapted it for the management of non-profit organizations.

Following this methodology, ICEA and FECD are collaborating to develop joint cooperation initiatives, based on organic standards promotion, in Latin American Countries; furthermore they became technical partners of the new Ecuadorian certification body, named ICEA ECUADOR.

Taking into account this successful story with Ecuador, ICEA’s key message to RIO+20 would be to encourage the creation of broad and inclusive partnerships amongst different stakeholders, aiming at enhancing livelihoods and facing the problems connected to rural poverty eradication, sustainable agricultural development and food security.

Chiara Scaraggi and Michele Maccari
International Cooperation Projects
ICEA – Istituto per la Certificazione Etica ed Ambientale